Microsoft Company Perceptions


MicrosoftCompany Perceptions


Thispaper applies the use of qualitative analysis to demonstrateMicrosoft Incorporation’s selected perceptions. The company issuited to this case due to its multinational nature of conductingbusiness. Various perceptions held by the company’s stakeholdershave been illustrated in a time series manner, since the company’sincorporation to the most recent. The paper also explains the factorsthat affect a company’s perception from the various stakeholdersand gives the advantages accruing to a company that has a positiveperception. The research will further explore the strategies thatMicrosoft Inc. uses to maintain a positive image and perception ofits products from its clients. The research scope will focus on themanagement effort, as well as the products the company manufacturersas the main strategies of maintaining a positive perception towardsits customers.

TheMicrosoft Corporation is an American company. It is headquartered inRedmond, Washington USA. The company in addition to supporting theinvention of manufacturers, it licenses the goods and servicesrelated to computing. Paul Allen and Bill Gates, once childhoodfriends, founded the Microsoft Company. They were computer geeks inan age when the access to computers was hard to come by (Musolf,2009). The two allegedly skipped some classes to study and live intheir schools’ computer room. When they hacked the school`scomputer, instead of being expelled, the two were offered unlimitedcomputer time and an offer to help in improving their schoolscomputer performance. The duo owned a small company by the nameTraf-O Data, and they sold a computer to the city that was going tohelp in counting the city’s traffic (Conlon &amp Murray, 1996).

Theformation of Microsoft Company dates back to 1975 when Allen wentthrough an article concerning the Altair 8800 microcomputer in thepopular Electronics magazine. When he showed it to Gates, he calledthe MITS, who were the makers of Altair, offering them the servicesfor creating a new edition of the newly invented Basic programminglanguage applied in the Altair. After eight weeks, Bill and Allendemonstrated their program to MITS, and they agreed to distribute andmarket the product under the name of Altair Basic (Aupperle et al.,1985). The Altair deal inspired both Bill and Allen to form theircompany that created and distributed software products. Microsoft washence created in 1975, and Bill Gates was the first CEO and chair ofthe board while Paul Allen became the executive Vice president(Burnett, 2005).

Inthe year 1980, the company released its first operating system, whichwas a version of Unix by then and was called Xenix. It was used asMicrosoft’s first word processor called the multi-tool word, whichwas the predecessor to the current Microsoft Word. In 1981, thecompany was incorporated in Washington and became Microsoft Inc. Thefirst successful operating system from the company was MS-Dos or theMicrosoft Disc Operating system, which was written for IBM in 1981.Bill gates only licensed the MS-Dos software to IBM and retained therights to the software where he made a fortune for Microsoft. Thisdeal made Microsoft a major software vendor (Musolf, 2009). Untilrecently in 2001, Microsoft introduced their first gaming systemcalled the X box system. This was the first gaming console in themarket after facing serious competition from play station two fromSony forcing Microsoft to discontinue the Xbox. In 2005, Microsoftreleased the X-box 360 gaming console, which was a success, and it isstill available in the market (Burnett, 2005).

In2010, Microsoft was viewed as a company that lacks innovation and thestrategy to drive its long-term growth. It was hence facing a growthcrisis. This was due to the increasing perception as anunderperforming consumer’s product company. The perception emergedas a result of the emerging competitors like Apple Google andFacebook. It was hence just but a problem of perception and notreality (Burnett, 2005).

Corporaterepresentation or status, describes the way that outsiders view anorganization , its operations, and its services or products. In acutthroat business climate, many businesses vigorously work to makeand be in touch with a positive perception to their clients,stakeholders, the financial providers and the public (Conlon &ampMurray, 1996). In 2012, the launch of Windows8, the Surface tablet,and Bing`s new advertising campaign were the major causes ofMicrosoft`s surge in affirmative consumer perception. Microsoft wasat its highest customer perception especially with shoppers for 21months (Burnett, 2005).

Microsofthas had the best corporate perceptions in the world. In 2013,according to Forbes, Microsoft tied in position 1 in a list of fourcompanies including the Walt Disney company, Google and BMW as thetop 10 companies with the best corporate perceptions in the world.The four are considered the most reputable in the world, whichexplains that they have obtained great reputations. This researchinvolved more than 55,000 consumers across 15 markets that were usedto rank the world’s top 100 most reputable companies who are allmultinational businesses with a global presence (Aupperle et al.,1985). The scores were derived from the four emotional indicators:trust, esteem, admiration and good feeling. The surveying companythen analyzed the seven dimensions of corporate reputation includingthe workplace, governance, citizenship, financial performance,leadership, products services and innovation. Three of the sevendimensions fall into the CSR category, which showed that 41% ofpeople`s attitude towards a business depends on their view of theinstitution’s corporate social responsibility tendencies (Musolf,2009).

In2013, Microsoft was also rated as the best company by 50% ofAmericans between 18 and 29 years old. They felt that Microsoft wascooler than it was a year ago this was a positive result for thecompany. Majority of American teenagers indicated a strong interestin the surface tablet. The secret behind Microsoft’s coolnessresurgence was around the new surface tablets, which had revamped thefamiliar Windows interface with a tile based, mobile applicationfriendly look and feel. In addition, the Xbox gaming console andKinect accessory, which could respond to gestures and voice, commands(Burnett, 2005).

Inconclusion, majority of customer’s motivation to trust, believe andattitude towards a company is based on their perceptions of thecorporate social responsibility of the company. Corporate socialresponsibility is important since it speaks of what the company is,what it believes and how it is doing business. It is a primarycomponent of reputation and can be utilized in helping to establishgoodwill and trust amongst stakeholders. This is an essential toolfor businesses can use to increase support from stakeholders likeconsumers, regulators, the financial community, and employees Acompany’s positive perception boosts the effectiveness of crisisresponse. In portraying trust and integrity, it enhances theefficiency of every suitable crisis response technique and thusenhances crisis resolution. On the contrary, high reputation standardmight be a challenge to an organization dealing with a product harmcrisis. As a result of high consumer level expectations, a verypopular company might have to make essential concessions (such asoffering larger amounts of compensation and assume responsibility) inorder to manage the crisis.


Aupperle,K., Carroll, A., &amp Hatfield, J. (1985). An empirical examinationof the relationship between corporate social responsibility andprofitability.Academy of Management Journal,28(2),pp. 446-463.

Burnett,R. (2005). Microsoftcompetition case.&nbspITNOW,&nbsp26-26

Conlon,D.E. &amp Murray, N.M. (1996). Customer perceptions of corporateresponses to product complaints: The role of explanations.&nbspAcademyof Management Journal,&nbsp39&nbsp(4),1040–1058.&nbsp

Denzin,N. (2000).&nbspHandbookof qualitative research&nbsp(2nded.). Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications.

Musolf,N. (2009). Thestory of Microsoft.Mankato, Minn: Creative Education.

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